4-1 win secures Back to Back League Title success for Champions Linfield

Posted : 31st August 2017 at 10:57:20

A 4-1 victory over Newry City at Rathmore on Wednesday night secured a Back to Back League title success for Linfield Ladies.

2 Goals each for Kirsty McGuinness and Alison Smyth ensured qualification for the 2018 UEFA Champions League only two days after elimination from the 2017 competition.

A successful season ends with 2 trophies in the cabinet - the League and the League Cup.

The team line up at Wednesday night's winner takes all league title decider was as follows

1 - Lauren Perry

19 - Abbie Magee

16 - Louise McFrederick

8 - Jennifer McDade

5 - Ashley Hutton

6 - Sarah Venney (c)

7 - Megan Bell

97 - Chloe McCarron

2 - Lyndsay Corry

10 - Alison Smyth

11 - Kirsty McGuinness


22 - Louise McDaniel - replaced Chloe McCarron

9 - Amber Dempster - replaced Alison Smyth

17 - Leontia McVarnock - replaced Megan Bell

14 - Kelsie Burrows

20 - Lauren Robson

Linfield's 2 goal Champions League star Megan Bell was upended in the box in the box and Kirsty McGuinness coolly slotted home the resultant penalty to give Linfield a 1-0 lead in the 9th minute.

2 minutes later Linfield doubled their lead thanks to a fine strike from Alison Smyth from the edge of the box into the roof of the net.

On 25 minutes Chloe McCarron shot just over the bar but the visitors halved the deficit in the 27th minute from the penalty spot. The pace of Aimee Mackin was to prove a threat throughout the game and the referee adjudged that Ashley Hutton fouled her in the box and awarded the spot kick, brandishing a yellow card to Hutton in the process.

Amanda Dias converted the spot kick for Newry.

Linfield restored their 2 goal advantage after 36 minutes when following some trickery on the right flank by Megan Bell Alison Smyth pounced to convert once the ball was crossed into the box and Linfield led 3-1.

Half time Linfield 3 Newry City 1

Following good work by Kirsty McGuinness, Alison Smyth's fine shot was pushed behind for a corner by the visiting keeper in the 53rd minute.

Linfield extended their lead in the 55th minute when star winger Kirsty McGuinness curled a terrific shot from the edge of the box into the top corner of the net.

Newry never gave up and Lauren Perry in the Linfield goal was kept on her toes throughout as the visitors searched for a way back into the game to revive their flagging title hopes.

On 66 minutes Megan Bell burst though the middle just as she had done to score twice in the recent Champions League series but on this occasion the visiting keeper made a fine and Brave save.

In the 68th minute Kirsty McGuinness broke clear on the left but her side footed shot across the keeper went beyond the far post.

On 69 minutes Abbie Magee was yellow carded for a foul on the dangerous Aimee Mackin and in the 72nd minute Alison Smyth curled a terrific shot from the edge of the box just over the angle of cross bar and post.

Newry pressed and pressed but were unable to break down a stubborn Linfield rearguard that did all that was required to see out the game, the win and a back to back league title success.

In the closing stages McDaniel, Dempster and McVarnock were introduced for McCarron, Smyth and Bell and the final whistle was the cue for the title winning celebrations after an exhausting schedule of 4 gruelling games in 8 days against top opposition in PK-35 Vantaa, Medyk Konin, Shelbourne and Newry City.

Linfield player of the match sponsored by Ronnie Morrison - Alison Smyth

The match ball was sponsored by Robbie Speers

Final score - Linfield 4 Newry City 1

Congratulations to the 2017 Danske Bank NIFL Premier League Champions

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